Retailers in DIY and hardware sector report uplift in Q1, while furniture and floorcoverings see a return to growth.
The Bira (formerly BHF-BSSA Group) Quarterly Trades Monitor recorded a 2% uplift in the performance of DIY and hardware retailers for the quarter ended March 31, when compared with the same period last year.
Encouragingly, big-ticket items, such as furniture, floorcoverings, beds and soft furnishings, made a return to growth, with the survey revealing a 2.4% increase in the sector's performance in the quarter, after a long spell of painful declines.
Overall, 44% of retail businesses that responded reported a higher performance than the same quarter last year, while 56% reported a lower performance in the three month period.
Department stores saw a 0.5% uplift in their performance in Q1, while cookshop and housewares reported a 1.3% decline. Pet products dipped 0.9%, while garden and horticultural machinery
Businesses in Scotland saw the greatest improvement in performance, up 2.8%, while the Midlands fared the worst, with a 6.4% decline.
Looking ahead 6% of firms surveyed said they are very confident about the coming year, while 42% said they are reasonably confident and 52% revealed that they remain anxious.